Tips for Running Successful Zoom Classes.
- Group parents in breakout rooms consisting of 4 to 6 parents each.
- Ask your parents to turn on their cameras.
- To save time, facilitators may read the activity instructions aloud.
- Although it is more time consuming, continue to ask parents to read portions of the text aloud. Reading aloud increases parent participation, retention, and learning.
- The Teacher’s Guide asks facilitators to conduct both small and large group activities. Do not run small group activities in the large group format. Parents learn less in large groups.
- Debrief activities by charting parent responses, either directly on the PPT slide or
- Keep it interesting: Show parents how to use the white board, poles, chat room, and reaction symbols/emojis, etc.
- Establish a “Question Bin.” Ensure parents that their questions will be answered in future Units.
- Set up ongoing virtual support groups.
- In other words, even though you are presenting the class online, stick with the process.
Parent Project classes are based on cooperative learning norms and activity-based instruction. Do not change the delivery platform.
- Position your camera at eye level or above.
- The camera should be close enough to frame at least your head and shoulders.
- Never position the camera below eye level. No one wants to see up your nose.
- If you have the facility, standing to present the class also works, but stay on your “mark.” If your camera is stationary, don’t move outside the camera frame.
- Try to look directly into the camera when you speak.
- Present from a well-lit room. Ring lights work well.
- Dress appropriately. You are teaching a class. We know you are on camera, but pajama bottoms or sweatpants do little to help you prepare.
- We recommend using a microphone with a headset. Logitech makes a good, inexpensive headset. ($24.99 on Amazon.) Headsets make it easier for your parents to hear you and use noise-canceling technology to help eliminate background noise.
- Don’t be afraid to share a little about yourself. Be personable!
- The more your class laughs, the better. Smile!
- Don’t read anything from the book without personal comment. “You will love this!” “How true that is.” “The first time I heard this, I laughed.” “I can’t stress that enough.”
- Be animated. Use voice inflection to help maintain class attention. In short, we have all had to endure boring presenters. Don’t be one.
The Software and the Process
- Practice, practice, practice, using the software, hardware, and presenting the class.
- Download the PPT’s to your computer. Do not play the PPT’s from the portal.
- Direct wire your computer to your router. Do not rely on a WiFi signal.
- After starting movies, move your cursor off the slide. Don’t touch the mouse or trackpad until the movie ends. Clicking or moving the mouse may pause the video.
- Always do a Zoom orientation for parents.
- For your first class, ask your parents to sign in early.
- From time to time, you will experience technical difficulties. Expect it. Facilitators who have no idea how to fix it or where to start, usually panic.
- Two facilitators are always best. If you are teaching alone, that’s okay. But having a techy there to get your parents into the meeting and solving technical issues for you is a great idea.
- If you must go it alone, practice, practice, practice.
- We recommend presenting just one unit per week, over two nights, one hour per night. For most, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings are best.
- Giving parents homework like reading the unit beforehand or “watch this first” is a challenge.
- Do not depend on your parents completing the task.
- Recording your sessions is a great idea. Parents who miss a class can always watch the meeting to catch up.